The Effingham County Board of Education held its first new employee picnic Thursday.
“The idea was to get everyone together in a casual setting,” communications specialist Pam Cox said. She said there are between 160 and 170 new employees in the district this year.
“I hope it will become a tradition,” Cox said.
Barbara D’Angelo, a new teacher at Springfield Elementary, has been teaching for 11 years and has just come to Effingham from New Jersey.
D’Angelo said she had family retire in South Carolina, and had heard good things about the Effingham school system.
Misty Harville from Statesboro is a first year teacher.
“I student taught here and really enjoyed it,” Harville said about her choice to work in Effingham.
Victoria Neurath is teaching for the second year after spending 20 years as a nurse.
Neurath said she always wanted to be a nurse and a teacher. She will be teaching nutrition and wellness at Effingham County High School.
She said she feels she is able to take what she has learned over the last 20 years to help her teach. She chose to work in Effingham because she lives in the county.
“I want to give back to the kids,” Neurath said.
Alan Sheridan, a new teacher at Effingham County Middle School, said he came to the county because of the people he knew here and the church he and his wife are members of.
Amanda Reid will be teaching at Ebenezer Middle School. Reid said she is originally from Texas.
“I heard the schools were really good,” she said as to why she chose Effingham. “I’ve always enjoyed working with kids, especially middle school.”
School board member James Dasher said the event was fantastically coordinated, and he was happy to see the diversity in experience among the teachers coming into the system.
Board Chairperson Vera Jones said she was happy with the turn out.
Jones said the system has grown significantly.
“I do think we are doing a good job of maintaining quality and the personal touch,” Jones said.
Becky Long, the director for human resources, welcomed the new employees.
“We are pleased that we are welcoming new employees from 14 different states,” Long said.
Superintendent Randy Shearouse told the new employees he felt it was appropriate to have the picnic at Ebenezer because when the Salzburgers settled in 1734 they were looking for a new home, and he hopes the new employees have found a new home as well.